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Cub Scout Advancement


The Boy Scouts of America is replacing major portions of the Cub Scout Advancement Program as of June 1, 2015. 
The existing program will continue until the end of May, 2015.

Note: in the descriptions below, we have listed the programs by Grade Level.  Some units, especially those chartered by the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Church, use age levels instead of grades. The LDS Church units do not utilize the Tiger program, and start with 7 year olds working toward the Wolf badge. Then 8 year olds work toward the Bear badge, 9 year olds work toward the Webelos badge, and 10 year olds work toward the Arrow of Light badge. 

Boys in the first through third grades (6-8 year olds) are referred to as "Cub Scouts".  Boys in the fourth and fifth grades (9 and 10 year olds) are called "Webelos Scouts".  "Webelos" is an Acronym which stands for WE'll  BE LOyal Scouts (WE-BE-LO-S), and is not a "plural" word form.  It is an adjective, and should always include the "S".

Existing Program:

The EXISTING Cub Scout Program has two basic features, Rank Advancement, and the Academics and Sports Program.  The Sports and Academics program is being discontinued, with some features of that program merged into the advancement requirements.

The first badge all Cub Scouts earn, regardless of age, is the Bobcat Badge. After earning the Bobcat Badge, they proceed to work on advancement specific to their age level. As part of these requirements, they currently must learn the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and the Cub Scout Motto.  The Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack are being retired, and replaced with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Cub Scouts joining as First Grade boys enter the Tiger Cub Program. Tiger Cubs, complete Achievements to earn the Tiger Cub Badge, and complete Electives to receive Tiger Track Beads to wear from a belt emblem. A new Tiger Cub Handbook was issued in the summer of 2001. Some minor changes took effect in June 2006, including dropping the former "Tiger Cub Motto" which was replaced by the Cub Scout Motto, and the requirement that Tiger Cubs earn the Bobcat Badge BEFORE the Tiger Cub badge, instead of after that badge.

In the Second Grade, Cub Scouts work toward the Wolf Badge, then toward a Gold Arrow Point and one or more Silver Arrow Points The requirements for these badges are found in the Wolf Cub Scout Book.

In the Third Grade, Cub Scouts work toward the Bear Badge, then they, too, work toward earning a Gold Arrow Point and Silver Arrow Points. The requirements for these badges are found in the Bear Cub Scout Book.

The Webelos Program is a two year program for Fourth and Fifth Grade Boys.  In both years, they work toward earning Webelos Activity Badges in twenty different areas, arranged in five groups. Fourth Grade Boys work toward the Webelos Badge. After earning the Webelos Badge. Fifth Graders, after earning the Webelos Badge, earn the Arrow of Light. In addition to the two rank badges, after earning the Webelos Badge, boys work toward the Compass Point Emblem and Metal Compass Points as they earn additional Activity Badges.

Wolf Cub Scout, Bear Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout Books were issued in 1998. Lists of the changes to the requirements which were made at that time are posted on our website for the Wolf Badge, Wolf Arrow Points, Bear Badge, Bear Arrow Points, Webelos and Arrow of Light Badges, and Webelos Activity Badges.

The Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light rank requirements, and the requirements for the Webelos Activity Badges are posted on this site. Use the links below to see the requirements. There are also links on those pages to pages that show the old requirements, and what changed in 2003.

As a Cub Scout or Webelos Scout, you can also earn the Cub Scout World Conservation Award.

Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts can also earn a series of Religious Emblems awarded by a number of religious organizations. The age and rank requirements vary.

Cub Scouts may also earn a number of other Special Awards and Emblems, which are also available to Boy Scouts.


New Program:

The New Cub Scout Program still features Rank Advancement, which is now based on a series of "Core" (Required), and "Elective" (Optional) "Adventures". The Sports and Academics program is being discontinued, with some features from that program merged into the various "Adventures".

The first badge all Cub Scouts earn, regardless of age, will remain the Bobcat Badge. After earning the Bobcat Badge, they proceed to work on advancement specific to their grade or age level. As part of these requirements, they will still learn the the Cub Scout Motto, Salute, Handshake, and Sign. The Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack are being retired, and replaced with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

In the First Grade, Cub Scouts will work toward earning the Tiger badge. The requirements will be found in the Tiger Handbook. The Tiger Track Emblem and beeds will no longer be used.

In the Second Grade, Cub Scouts will work toward the Wolf Badge. The requirements will be found in the Wolf Handbook. The Gold and Silver Arrow Points will no  longer be used.

In the Third Grade, Cub Scouts will work toward the Bear Badge. The requirements will be found in the Bear Handbook. Again, the Gold and Silver Arrow Points will no  longer be used.

The Webelos Program is a two year program for Fourth and Fifth Grade Boys. Fourth Grade Boys work toward the Webelos Badge, while Fifth Graders work toward the the Arrow of Light badge. The requirements for both will be found in the Webelos Handbook. Both  grades will select from a common group of Elective Adventures. The Webelos Activity Badges and the Compass Point Emblem will no longer be used.

Completely new versions of the Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Handbooks will be issued prior to June 1, 2015. Since the requirements have been completely rewritten, we will not provide any web pages showing the changes.  For the Tiger, Wolf, and Bear levels, Scouts that complete an "Adventure" will receive a recognition, in the form of a metal "belt loop".  The recognitions for those working toward the Webelos and/or Arrow of Light badges will be in the form of pins. 

For most "Traditional" units, which use grade levels to determine the program, the transition will be quite simple.  See the explanation here. There is a link on that page to a document explaining the transition which the LDS units should use.

The Proposed (Draft) Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light rank requirements, including the requirements for all of the "Adventures" are posted on this site. Use the links below to see the requirements.

Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, will also still be able to earn the Cub Scout World Conservation Award, but the requirements will change.  We'll post the new requirements when they become available.

Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts will alsostill be able to earn a series of Religious Emblems awarded by a number of religious organizations, and they will still be able to earn a number of other Special Awards and Emblems. The requirements vary, but will not be affected by the changes to the Cub Advancement program..


Advancement Transfers for Foreign Scouts

Questions arise occasionally on whether a Cub Scout moving to the USA from another country can use the advancements he had earned in that country toward advancement in a BSA unit. For the answer, click here.


Page updated on: May 30, 2014



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